Toni Elias – Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 1-1
Roger Hayden – Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 – DNF-DNF
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias and his GSX-R1000 dominated the doubleheader race weekend of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Virginia International Raceway in the USA at the weekend to mark his second clean sweep of the season.
Elias, who also took the double win at Road Atlanta last month, reached his milestone 20th MotoAmerica victory in Saturday’s Race One. He earned the distinction of reaching 20 wins faster than any other rider in series history, then continued adding to his tally with Sunday’s 21st-career victory. That also marked Suzuki’s 199th win in MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike history, putting them just one away from a historic 200th win.
Suzuki is the all-time wins leader among manufacturers in the 42-year history of the MotoAmerica/ AMA Superbike Championship.
Elias found two different paths to victory at VIR. In Saturday’s race, he trailed most of the way before making his move with two laps to go. In Sunday’s race, Elias controlled the pace from the front, officially leading all 23 laps. Both races were epic battles with Elias defeating rival Cameron Beaubier by just 0.114 seconds on Saturday and 0.546 on Sunday.
With five wins in six races, Elias has stretched his championship points lead to 35.
Yoshimura Suzuki team-mate Roger Hayden had a tough-luck weekend: He got caught up in a chain-reaction crash in Saturday’s race ending in a spectacular endo at speed. Hayden attempted to race Sunday. He ran as high as fourth in the early going but began experiencing dizziness and decided the best action was to pull out of the race.
For Elias, the VIR sweep came as somewhat of a surprise. He said: “VIR has not always been the best track for me. In yesterday’s race I just tried to stay close to Cameron [Beaubier] and in the end I was able to find a way to pass. Today I was leading all the way. It was a different strategy, but it worked, and we were able to win again and most importantly build on our points lead. This was again credit to my Yoshimura Suzuki crew. Everyone worked so hard to improve our performance at this track and it worked perfectly.
“It is Mom’s Day in Spain and I want to dedicate my victories this weekend to her.”
With a three-week break until the next round at Road America, Hayden hopes to be fully recovered and ready to race by then.
Said Hayden: “In the first race a rider in front of us crashed and a couple of us went off track to avoid him. I ended up having a pretty big crash and hit my head pretty hard. I tried to ride today, but I was still feeling the effects of yesterday’s hit to the head. I got pretty dizzy on the bike, so I just brought it in to be safe. We’ve got three weeks to Road America. I plan on coming out strong there. It’s a good track for our bike.”
Round four of 10 on the MotoAmerica schedule takes place at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on June 1-3rd, and Suzuki is hoping to reach and perhaps even eclipse the 200-win plateau that weekend.
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